On June 29, 2020, the BRI International Green Development Coalition (BRIGC) held the BRI Green Development Report Working Meeting via video conference. The meeting was addressed by Mr. Erik Solheim, Convener of the Advisory Committee of BRIGC and Advisor to the World Resources Institute; Mr. XUE Lan, Dean of Schwarzman Scholars of Tsinghua University and Co-Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development Goals of Tsinghua University; Mr. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development of Columbia University; and Ms. ZHOU Guomei, Executive Director General of the Foreign Environmental Cooperation Center (FECO) at the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE). More than 30 delegates participated in the meeting, including Mr. ZHANG Jianyu, International Liaison Person of the Advisory Committee of BRIGC and Vice President of the Environmental Defense Fund; Mr. LI Yonghong, Deputy Director General of FECO, MEE; Mr. ZHU Xufeng, Associate Professor at the School of Public Policy & Management, Tsinghua University; and Mr. Guido Schmidt-Traub, Executive Director of SDSN.
The BRI Green Development Report is the flagship report of BRIGC, co-conducted by the BRIGC Secretariat, SDSN and the Global Institute for Sustainable Development of Tsinghua University (TUSDG). All thematic partnerships are also invited to get involved in the research. The project aims to assess achievements and challenges for the green development of BRI participating countries, and propose policy recommendations to promote a 'green BRI' by identifying global green development cooperation and innovation mechanisms and highlighting best practices for the green development of the BRI. Research progress and focus areas were discussed at the meeting, where consensus was reached for the next steps.
Mr. Erik Solheim, in his address, said he hopes that the flagship report should present the progress and results China has achieved in the field of environmental protection and green development, with reference to BRI participating countries.
Mr. XUE Lan pointed out in his speech that we need to find ways to balance development and environmental issues, and the green Belt and Road is the right direction, adding that the flagship report should be science-oriented and lay a research foundation for promoting a green Belt and Road.
Mr. Jeffrey Sachs mentioned that a positive, constructive, and win-win attitude is necessary for promoting a green Belt and Road. Joining forces with the European Green New Deal is worth considering.
Ms. ZHOU Guomei, on behalf of the BRIGC Secretariat, expressed gratitude to the TUSDG and the SDSN teams for their participation in the flagship report. She hopes that the report can objectively evaluate green development outcomes for the participating countries, and provide valuable policy recommendations for decision-makers.
TUSDG, SDSN and the BRIGC Secretariat shared the latest progress on the flagship report. The experts at the meeting conducted in-depth discussions on the research framework, research methods and contents, data collection and other aspects of the report, and put forward specific suggestions. The research team stated that it will continue to maintain close cooperation, and will absorb the latest results of the thematic partnerships, with which it will jointly promote the preparation of the flagship report.
Mr. Li Yonghong said in his summary that the flagship report should provide green solutions for participating countries while identifying green development achievements. Mr. Erik Solheim pointed out that the report should provide suggestions for synergies between the environment and the economy, promoting the contribution of a green Belt and Road for the sustainable development of China and the world.
BRIGC was established in response to the advocacy of China's President Xi Jinping at the First Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May 2017. It was inaugurated jointly by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China and domestic and international partners at the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in April 2019. It aims to integrate the idea of green development throughout the construction of the Belt and Road, build consensus on green development, and facilitate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. More than 140 organizations have become Partners of BRIGC, covering a network across more than 40 countries.